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Personality types in the office

06 April 2022

Life would be boring if we were all the same. Different personality types are something that keeps the world interesting, but managing and interacting with them can sometimes be tricky.

Whether we agree or not, we all tend to fall into categories that define our personality and how we best operate while at work. There’s no right or wrong way to be when discussing personality types, but knowing how to interact with each can make the difference between a good relationship and a bad one.

The Solo Artist

It’s not a great surprise to hear that solo artists prefer to work alone, or at least in small groups. They often shy away from starting conversations and prefer to work in quiet spaces with as few people as possible, but are usually hard workers with a noticeable creative streak.  

Solo artists aren’t simply lone wolves who growl when others are around. They often work very well in one to ones or in small groups where they feel comfortable and can express themselves.

The High Achiever

High achievers are probably one of the most common personality types. While many in the office may strive for the top, high achievers take it to the next level and are not adverse to working overtime or coming in early to get extra work done.  

High achievers place their progression as the cornerstone of the career and everything else must fit in around it. Their drive and ambition can at times be relentless, which is something that can come into conflict with others in the office, but well-directed it can be used to excellent effect.

Their downside is that they can stubborn and callous when it comes to something or someone that they believe is standing in their way to the top.

The (Natural Born) Leader

A leader, whether natural or perceived, is somebody who is constantly looking to pull the team forward - whether it’s actually their job or not. Leaders like to be at the forefront of things in the office and take great pride in helping to motivate and improve other employees.

They often come with wonderful confidence and charisma that can sweep others along without them even realizing it and their enthusiasm and drive can be infectious.

But you need to be somewhat careful with leaders. A leader who has a natural ability to head a team and who has just the right combination of steel and empathy can be a rare find and one you should hold on to for dear life if it appears. Yet, often leaders turn out to be far from natural born. Many choose leadership because of power and authority and it’s highly questionable whether you want this kind of person as a leader.

The Social Extrovert

The social extrovert is in many ways the exact opposite of the solo artist, a person who relishes any opportunity for social interaction, whether that be in the break room, next to the printer, or in the hallways.

It’s important to remember that extroverts tend to gain strength from being around people and can sometimes feel uncomfortable when alone. Unsurprisingly, it was the social extroverts who suffered most during lockdown.

Extroverts can be hugely beneficial to a company when used in the right and if you can play up to their strengths by asking them to perform tasks that require plenty of talking and meeting new people, chances are they’ll thrive.

However, extroversion of course comes with its downsides and having people in the office who are constantly looking to have a chat rather than work can be frustrating and even irritating for other employees. If this is the case, it’s also best to have a quiet word with the social extrovert and explain the boundaries clearly to them.

The Innovator

Innovators are always looking for a new way to do things, or simply a way to do things slightly different to save on time or money. They are natural risk-takers and are forever drawn to launching into the unknown to test a new theory or product.

Some of the world’s greatest breakthroughs have come from innovators and their imagination and daring can be an excellent asset to any company. They greedily learn all they can and see rules and guidelines as merely constraints waiting to be broken.

Like anybody who has the head in the clouds from time to time, an innovator can sometimes fall down rabbit holes that can severly affect their productivity. If possible, assign them projects and give them ambitious goals that will require all of their innovation know-how.  

The Logician

Logicians are happiest when they can sit down and analyse a problem quietly without the emotional distractions that often occur. They are usually inventive, creative, and intelligent, but sometimes lack people skills.

If you need some data carefully analysed, a job that many would consider close to watching paint dry, logicians are the ones you turn to. They often relish such challenges and enjoy working by themselves and in peace.

This type of personality can sometimes come into conflict with more outgoing personality types, such as the social extrovert, and they can come across as cold and insensitive, especially when it comes to making decisions - but never underestimate this kind of thinking. Decisions based purely on emotions often run into problems, but logicians can supply a level-headed response when it’s really needed.